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Sonoma Race Report

Sonoma Raceway proved to be anything but friendly for Joe Gibbs Racing this Sunday afternoon. Matt Kenseth’s 19th-place finish led the team in today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota SaveMart 350, while Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch were both dealt multiple setbacks and forced to settle for disappointing 23rd and 35th finishes respectively.

Kenseth started the No. 20 Home Depot Husky Toyota in sixth and was able to remain in the top-five through the early going, but once pit stops began, so did multiple strategies as teams tried calculate how best to manage fuel mileage on the 1.99-mile road course racetrack. Now shuffled back in the pack, Kenseth found the handling on his No. 20 Camry extremely tight as he raced his way back inside the top 20. The field continued to shuffle through different pit strategies and crew Jason Ratcliff and the Home Depot crew continued to make adjustments to help Kenseth drive back toward the front of the field. What proved to be the final caution of the day came out on lap 82 and the team made the decision to remain out on the track and restart second. Kenseth was able to hold that position through the restart but began sliding back through the field as he went into full fuel saving mode over the final ten or so laps. He would finish back in 19th.
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Infographic: How to Race the Road Course

As Joe Gibbs Racing heads to Sonoma Raceway, there are certain keys to road course racing that they must consider. The tight turns, fuel strategy and brake management all require special consideration, which we explain in this week’s infographic. Also, be sure to check out some fun facts about Sonoma that include sheep and the changes in elevation at the track.
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